Pope declares war on sexual abuse but victims feel betrayed

Pope declares war on sexual abuse but victims feel betrayed

Pope declares war on sexual abuse but victims feel betrayed

Protecting children against paedophiles is a complex process.

He said: 'We will listen to them, believe them, walk with them, we will ensure that those who have abused are never again able to offend, we will call to account those who have concealed abuse'.

The Guardian reported Pope Francis, concluded mass by comparing the abuse of children to "human sacrifice".

On Sunday, the Vatican announced that it would publish an edict from the pope and rule book on the protection of minors, in addition to forming a task force.

After the conference, the Vatican says it will formulate follow-up measures to make sure all bishop return home knowing how to put anti-abuse procedures into place.

The initiatives underscore the Pope's desire for "concrete" steps to tackle abuse and follow days of meetings which saw numerous mea culpas, brutal criticism of bishops mismanagement of abuse and denial and a flurry of practical suggestions for what the Church must do battle the scourge.

A conference on child abuse within the Catholic Church has ended at the Vatican, with Pope Francis describing clergy who abuse children as the 'tools of Satan'.

Now the church only considers it a "grave delict" - or a crime handled by the Vatican office that processes sex abuse cases - if the child in question is under age 14.

In his final remarks to the summit, Francis noted that the vast majority of sexual abuse happens in the family.

In a speech heavily footnoted with data from worldwide organizations, the Argentine pontiff spoke in sweeping terms about abuse, describing the underlying reasons victims are fearful to speak out, and the fallout they face as adults, including "bitterness" and "suicide".

"It is a problem in Europe, the Americas, Canada, and Australia", she said, adding that other problems in the region, such as poverty, illness, war, and violence, "does not mean that the area of sexual abuse should be downplayed or ignored".

Fr Hans Zollner, one of the summit organisers and a prominent anti-abuse advocate in the Church, told journalists afterwards that the most "comforting and hopeful" part of the summit fro him was hearing bishops from Africa and Asia recognising the problem of abuse and the need for action.

"The concrete actions will come later in what's called a 'motu proprio, ' which is a document that they said the pope is going to issue later on", he told NPR.

Francis said the abuse has been going on for centuries but more people are speaking out and studies conducted.

He said the Church "in developing her legislation" will focus on eight aspects: "the protection of children", "impeccable seriousness", "genuine purification", "formation", "strengthening and reviewing guidelines by episcopal conferences" and "accompaniment of those who have been abused".

The paramount principle for any church leader, Archbishop Scicluna said, is to "protect the flock" from priest abusers, with the implication that sometimes a bishop is better able to protect the flock by removing priest abuser from ministry and keeping them under restrictions. "Why don't they start with something concrete like removing the bishops who cover up?"

Several cardinals, archbishops and canon lawyers at the conference said the Church should stop applying the "pontifical secret" sex abuse trials, because, instead of guaranteeing confidentiality it was often used to hide problems.

He added that "the Church is a safe place for all, a loving mother especially for the young and the vulnerable".

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